An absolute draft steal at number 43, Andrew Swallow has been a key figure in the Roos’ midfield for over a decade, and has claimed 3 Syd Barker medals in his time there. But with mounting injuries and age seeming to catch up with the veteran midfielder, his days at Arden Street seem numbered, especially past his contract in 2018. Given the Kangaroos’ approach to their list management, it is not surprising that Swallow is looking at his options. Whether he will get his desired move is another thing completely, especially given the Kangaroos have not been able to secure any big names in the midfield this trade period.
Gold Coast Suns seems to be Swallow’s preferred destination, as he wants to join his brother David. The brothers are close, and it appears that the move will also help David support his pregnant partner. Andrew Swallow would be a great fit for the club, and will be able to provide them with leadership and steel in the midfield, something they have been lacking this season. He is not someone who racks up high disposal numbers in every game, but is a prolific contested-ball and clearance winner. The Suns have been at the bottom end of the ladder for both these statistics in 2017.
If Gary Ablett’s trade demands are met, the Suns will have a gaping hole in their midfield and in their leadership group, something which Swallow will help address immediately. I see him easily playing 2 seasons of 15 games each, imparting much-needed midfield nous and leading by example when he plays. His presence might also be the catalyst needed to spark David Swallow to the next level.
This is one of those situations where neither team might have much to bargain with. The Suns’ current focus seems to be on landing young Lachie Weller, which might see them give up one of their earlier picks. Fremantle have demanded pick 2, but the only way I see it happening is if they let Weller and pick 5 go, receiving picks 2 and 24 or 26 in the process. It also means that the Suns will be less willing to part with the remainder of their early second round picks. A potential deal could see Swallow and pick 46 go to the Suns, and the Kangaroos receive picks 37 and 39. I don’t see the Roos getting anything higher than this given Swallow’s age and his contract status.
If the Kangaroos and Suns fail to get any deal done, Swallow might roll the dice and ask to be delisted in the hope that he is picked up by the Suns. With trade deadlines looming, it will prove increasingly difficult to orchestrate any deals that are more complex than the one mentioned above, and these are the two most likely outcomes. Tomorrow looms as a key day for this deal, as Swallow’s manager Colin Young poised to meet Scott Clayton, the Suns’ list manager.
I see this trade happening, as it suits all parties. The Suns will get some much-needed midfield steel and leadership, while the Kangaroos will be able to free up a spot on their list to blood a youngster. This seems to be the direction Brad Scott wants to take the club in, as evidenced by the recent delisting of Sam Gibson. Swallow will also benefit from this deal, as he gets to join his brother, and also add some certainty to the last couple of years of his career. If the Roos play hard-ball, expect Swallow to return the favour by requesting to be delisted.
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